“And I never saw you coming. And I’ll never be the same.” – TS

On a typical day, now, I wake up thinking. I’ve got an idea for something to write, and I’m just going to keep thinking it until I’ve filled up my RAM and boxed myself in somewhere. I have to write it to get out of the box. When I don’t get to write it, I can just keep thinking myself farther and farther into the box, until the best part of the day is gone and I’m just a mess. Stuck in that box.

[I did restring my guitar, last Sunday; at least, the first three. (All six at once boggles my mind, with all the stretching and retuning. Top three are up next.) And I’m learning some TS songs: All Too Well; Call It What You Want. Singing ’em, too. I even bought a couple new songs just now, which is so rare these days. Like I’d given up on music as if it was a young man’s game. Whew, that was close! Let’s not forget again.]

[Spin, Fidget Ninja, spin! Don’t let them stop you. You be you, Fidget Ninja. You be you.]

I’m still a little stunned by how many posts I wrote in October. [Or, I should say, how many I wrote and posted. 33 doesn’t even count that Drafts and Scraps in their respective Bear bins, or the half notebook I filled with private scribbling, or all those ‘today’s writer’s block’s I did. So many words. By Yoda’s knotty little cane, if only I was this devoted to glazing and firing pots just now. Ah well; we do what we can, not what we can’t.]

I joked to Witt that I’m now posting so much so fast like it’s a buffer overflow hack on your wetware — trying get so many of my thoughts into your RAM that your system can’t handle it; exploiting the mechanism where that lets my input start to bleed over into your other processes. “That’s how it works.” Pretty soon, you’ll be dreaming of muses and watching The OA and listening to Taylor Swift all day long, just like me.

As the comedian Dana Gould had it, crudely but essentially correct, “Let me put my thoughts into you.” Isn’t that pretty much all of Communication? All Marketing? All influence, persuasion, reading and watching and writing and singing? Practically all of culture, when it comes down to it?

“And I loved in shades of wrong.”

So you’ll probably find this little admission just up against the border of pathological: I’ve also been writing in my paper journals again — a lot. It started with those Guest Check cards — still so fun, but I’m mostly using them for lyrics and quotes and lists, and less as blog post starters. Poor Natalie Goldberg got me started up so fast that I read the first fifth of her book and haven’t cracked it open again since — like the boulder in Raiders, or Ol’ Siss on a bad day, it’s like I am racing down a preordained track and cannot be stopped.

The journals are for the actual private writing. The things (even) I don’t dare say here, or that I type here and then think better of. But, also, for just free associating. I find that moving the pen or pencil makes my thinking better; less fractal; less obsessively looping. And I’ve got a lot of thinking going on. Too much.

I started back into them, maybe a month or six weeks ago, with those little “today’s writer’s block”s — a gimmick that let me write what I was thinking, but without leaving a trace. A lot of stuff I needed to write but not worry about saving, or even seeing again, myself. Then it kind of morphed into deliberately scrawling across the page, like shorthand by a speed freak or something. {Note: He’s not actually on speed, all appearances to the contrary. Too much coffee, sure, but other than that still pretty much straight arrow clean. -Ed.}

But then I realized I was having trouble processing it without the actual, legible recording of the thoughts. Fast and sloppy was good, for just blasting things out at the speed of conversation, but I kept finding that I wanted to at least have the option to go back and see what I’d said. Sometimes I need to refer to the transcript to figure out where the hell I am now. But the catch there was that by going back to legible script, I really was leaving a paper trail — a literal one — of all my worst, least appropriate, indefensible, momentarily (?) nuts ideas. That’s a tough one. Even if those notebooks never leave the house, it’s hard to secure them in a way that doesn’t feel like leaving dangling, important bits all over the place.

And then, one day, I just said, “Fuck it.” I need to write what I think, so that I know how I feel, so that I can keep going, and I’ll write “BURN BEFORE READING” and the date on here, and if anyone is stubborn or foolish enough to ignore that warning/request and plow into it, then they kind of deserve to know what they find.

So — hey — one of you: if I croak first, next month or 167 genetically modified years from now, please go through my shit and find all the paper notebooks with that on their covers and stick ’em in a nice, piping ∆14 firebox. Thanks!

“This is a state of Grace. This is a worthwhile fight.”